No one wants to drink wine from a cooler that’s got mold growing in it. Mold can be harmful to your health, and it’s disgusting to think about having to drink wine out of something like that! But mold can creep up even on the sturdiest of coolers, particularly if they haven’t been cleaned in a while. So how do you clean out the mold and bring your cooler back to life? Here are some tips to get the job done right away without harming your cooler or yourself in the process.
1) Prevent Mold Growth in the First Place
If you see any signs of mold on your wine cooler, it’s time to spring into action. If you can remove and replace the source of moisture that’s making it grow in that area, you’ll be able to prevent it from spreading. Often times, mold likes to start at a single point and then spread; as such, stopping it at its beginning can help prevent things from getting worse! One good way to do so is with a good dehumidifier.
2) Use the Right Products to Remove Mold
Once you’ve identified what product you want to use to remove mold, make sure that it’s safe for use on whatever surface you’re trying to clean. In most cases, vinegar can be used as a natural, non-toxic option for removing mold. Be sure to thoroughly read and follow any manufacturer recommendations when using any chemical cleaning products. If possible, test your product on an inconspicuous area before applying it all over your wine cooler; if there are any adverse reactions or changes in color or smell, that could indicate that your cleaning product is too harsh and could damage your wine cooler surface.
3) Remove The Source of Moisture
The best way to start is by preventing excess moisture from accumulating in your cooler. If you’re using a wine rack, it’s a good idea to keep at least 1⁄2 inch of space between bottles to allow for airflow and prevent mold growth. If you are not using a wine rack, make sure your bottles are standing straight up so they aren’t touching each other or sitting on their sides. Also, wipe off any condensation that accumulates on your glass with a soft cloth; do not use paper towels as these can easily scratch glass.
4) Take Time to Remove Stains and Scratches
You can’t use just one kind of cleaner on a moldy wine cooler. The best way to remove mold is to mix different kinds of cleaners that are safe for your surface type and have strong antibacterial properties. Mix equal parts of vinegar, water, and bleach (to kill bacteria) or use a commercial household cleaner with bleach in it. Then sprinkle baking soda over all areas where there is visible mold and leave it for about 15 minutes before scrubbing off with a toothbrush. You can also use washing up liquid to scrub away excess dirt, but do not leave it on for long or it could discolor your cooler! Make sure you wear rubber gloves at all times as well when handling these chemicals—your health comes first!
5) Use Multiple Cleaners on One Surface
You may have heard that using multiple cleaners at once is bad, but in reality you can use both a bleach and vinegar solution to eliminate mold. Each solution has a different chemical makeup and thus will react differently to water spots left behind by hard water. Vinegar leaves no residue, while bleach stains heavily so it’s best to wear gloves when applying it. Combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a bucket and dip a towel into it; rub into wet mold with strokes that go away from mold as opposed to toward it so you don’t spread mold further. The mixture will foam up upon contact with moisture from mold—this is normal! Repeat until surface dries out, then spray with 1⁄2 cup of bleach mixed with 1 gallon of cold water.
6) Don’t Overlook Surfaces That Aren’t Visible
It’s easy to focus on mold that’s growing in obvious spots, like around your sink or shower. But mold can grow anywhere in your wine cooler, including on surfaces you can’t see. You should inspect every surface of your wine cooler carefully and clean any surface that has been exposed to moisture. Check along crevices, underneath drawers and near switches as these areas may have mold build-up as well. You might even want to consider removing some of those knickknacks if they have been exposed to excessive moisture over time; chances are there are some stains hiding under them (and you probably don’t want those stains in your refrigerator).
7) Check Underneath Appliances
With dirty appliances, there’s a good chance that some of that dirt and grime will creep its way onto your clean kitchen countertops and surfaces. It’s easy to check out your dishwasher, microwave, oven, refrigerator and other appliances for hidden gunk: Pull them away from their wall attachment and wipe underneath with a dry cloth. If you see mold or rust stains on your refrigerator gasket or stovetop drip pans (both of which should be replaced regularly), it might be time to call in a cleaning service. But if you have minor spots that can be wiped down with a sponge, just move on to these tips for cleaning other areas of your kitchen.
8) Get Rid of Mold from Plastic Parts
Most of your wine cooler is going to be made of plastic, which means that bleach or vinegar won’t work. Instead, clean these parts with a 50/50 mixture of water and rubbing alcohol. Spray onto affected areas and let sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing off with an old toothbrush. While you’re at it, wipe down any glass bottles with a dilute vinegar solution to prevent mold from forming later on. Also, make sure you turn your cooler off if it’s been used recently—this prevents moisture buildup inside and helps keep mold growth at bay!
9) Reuse Masks, Not Paper Towels
While paper towels might absorb moisture, they’re also likely to leave behind bits of paper towel that could make things worse. Instead, grab an old kitchen towel or a t-shirt and use that to clean up spills. You may even consider using a reusable silicone or rubber face mask to cover your mouth and nose when cleaning moldy items. Be careful not to reuse them if you have a compromised immune system.
When mold is already growing in your wine cooler, it’s important to take action quickly and carefully. Even if you can’t see it with your naked eye, there could be dangerous toxins in your home that need to be dealt with as soon as possible. Make sure to run fans, open windows and replace air filters. Then cover all surfaces or objects in your home so they don’t get contaminated while you clean up the moldy areas—and get them thoroughly dry before putting them back into use. Mold grows fast and should not be taken lightly. Once you discover it, act quickly!